Montreal urged its residents that there will be a demolition of old, poorly-maintained housings as part of improved housing in the 1960's. Of course, not everyone wanted to leave their homes.
Launched in 1965, the "Petite-Bourgogne renovation project" sought after the improvement of dwellings. But this meant eviction and demolition for residents. The development of parks and housing were as planned, grants were created for the municipal authorities, and support was given to owners. The aim was to improve the living conditions of people by meeting the "needs of the current inhabitants".
The district of Petite-Bourgogne was already known for its rich and colorful history and was a hub for the black community and jazz musicians.
In any case, the man from the ministry would knock on the doors of houses that are marked for demolition or improvement. He would hold a code for each home, and a photographer was there to document this. In most of the pictures, the man holding the sign as residents continued on with their daily lives was never shown with a full-face.
Hence, the figure was named "The Mysterious Man from the Ministry".
Images are sourced from Flashbak.